You don't have to be a business person to be an exporter or an importer.
As Internet shopping becomes more popular, what is often not understood is that as soon as you hit the return key to purchase a product from another country, then effectively you become an importer and become liable for Duty and VAT payments.
What goods are subject to Duty and VAT?
All goods imported into the UK from outside the EU must be declared to HM Revenue & Customs and in most cases, are subject to Customs Duty and VAT. This includes goods bought over the Internet.
It's not always about the purchasing!
If someone sends you a gift from abroad that is over £36 in value, you will also be obliged to pay the Duty and VAT unless the person who sent it has agreed to pay it themselves. Likewise, if you are the person sending you need to remember that if you don't take the time to include the proper invoices then your shipment could be held in customs or the person you are sending to may be charged too much Duty and VAT.
The bottom line is:
If you are sending goods out of the
European Union (EU) you will need to prepare a Prepare a Customs Invoice and if you are receiving a shipment you need to know that there could be duties on top that may be billed after the shipment has been delivered.
If this is the first time you have received a Duty and VAT invoice from us then you may have some questions that you’d like answering before you pay it. This could be an unexpected bill and you may be unsure what it is or how it is calculated.
These charges are levied by HM Revenue & Customs and have been paid for by DHL Express on your behalf in order that we can deliver your goods.
The following invoice number prefixes all denote import Duty and VAT related charges: AVI, AVM, AVC, HMC, CFS, HRC, XTRI.
You may also be charged import Duty and VAT on an invoice with a prefix of a 3 letter code representing a DHL UK Service Centre, followed by the initial ‘I’ and 6 digits e.g. ABZI765432, BHXI876543
Please refer to the reverse of your invoice for explanatory notes on the charges levied. For further information on why you have been charged, please read the section below.